I walked down to my local park as I have many times throughout my childhood and young adult life except this time I was there to explore the nature and enjoy some peace and quiet. I didn’t bring my dogs with me so there were almost no distractions what so ever.
This park is located in the Mount Bonnell Shores neighborhood located right on the shores of Lake Austin. The temperature during the late afternoon and early evening I was there on May 28th was about 79 to 80 degrees fahrenheit with a high amount of humidity.
As I was walking down to the park, I could immediately smell the lake water hovering above the ground. A wild rabbit scattered across the park grounds as it heard my feet rustling in the moist leaves. A few birds could be heard chirping among the different Post Oak and Cedar trees.
It was obvious that recently people were down at the park restoring the natural habitat. Many non-native trees were cut down and barriers and markers for new native trees were set all about the grounds. Old stumps that had rotted away also remained as a past reminder of the overgrowth that once resided. Additionally, since I was so close to the water I could hear boats in the distance and the sounds of humanity echoed in the walls of the lake. As stated by Leopold in A Sand County Almanac, “There are degrees and kinds of solitude. An island in a lake has one kind; but lakes have boats, and there is always the chance that one might land to pay you a visit. A peak in the clouds has another kind; but most peaks have trails, and trails have tourists. I know of no solitude so secure as one guarded by a spring flood; nor do the geese, who have seen more kinds and degrees of aloneness than I have.” While I could hear boats in the distance, I was still alone in the park all by myself. I got a chance to be at one with nature and the recent flooding had brought a sense of fresh spring to the park.
Just earlier this week, Austin experienced a major series of thunderstorms and this was present in the park. The creek that normally sits dry was totally flowing with clear water and animal tracks were present along the muddy banks where they most likely were drinking from.
The lake was a bit brown as the rain had put a significant amount of dirt and mud into the water making it not so clear. Normally I can see fish but not this time around.
This park is near and dear to my heart as I have spent many days here in my life and it is nice to experience it in a totally peaceful and non-recreational way. I look forward to many more days here and watching it develop with these freshly planted trees will be interesting.